60% of SMEs in the UK use cloud-based applications in the operation of their business, according to the latest research conducted by BT Business and the British Chamber of Commerce.

The most popular use of cloud software was to allow employees to work from home, with 86% of businesses saying they have one or more members of staff working remotely on a regular basis.

Danny Longbottom, managing director of UK SME – part of BT Business – said:

“Cloud has been a ‘buzzword’ for a couple of years now, but for our customers it’s a reality — and that is highlighted by our research. It can mean different things to different businesses — from email access and data storage, through to managed telephone services — but it is helping businesses work more effectively, as well as more flexibly.”

43% of survey participants believed that cloud-based applications were essential for flexible working, with more than half suggesting that remote access to company data was essential. Access to WiFI was also an important factor.

Dr. Adam Marshall, executive director of policy, British Chambers of Commerce, said:

“Flexible and remote working are crucial for companies across Britain, and cloud-based files and applications make this possible. Businesses are working in new and different ways, but easy access to information and communication tools are absolutely essential. Everything suggests that businesses dependence on the cloud is growing, and will continue to increase in future.”

Photo by Sarah Gilbert